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Italeri

Set 6067

Prussian Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2005
Contents 48 figures and 3 horses
Poses 16 poses, 1 horse pose
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 26 mm (= 1.87 m)

Review

The figures in this set represent the Prussian line infantry from about 1810, and the Landwehr, or militia, which was first raised in 1813. Both are suitable for the Hundred Days campaign, and both have been done before, with Revell producing the line infantry and Airfix making the Landwehr - a pair of very decent sets. It might have been hoped that this Italeri product would complement the older sets, and perhaps build on them. Well, hope springs eternal, but is sometimes dashed.

The first and most apparent feature of this set is it will not be winning any beauty awards. While the figures themselves have quite ugly faces, it is the overall standard of sculpting that is a big disappointment. Almost all the figures have flat spots (areas on the surface that should be rounded, but are completely flat), and some of the proportions are a nightmare. Instances are too numerous to list, but for example the fallen man seems to be missing almost all of both his feet, and the firing pose has virtually no upper arm on his right. Even regular shapes like the drum are irregular here, and the cartridge box takes on all manner of shapes, including triangular. One figure has drawn his sword, which is so short as to be little more than a pen knife, but his colleagues fare little better, with bayonets that are the shape and size of a spear point slotted directly into the muzzle.

Pose choice also leaves much to be desired. The set contains three identical sprues; hence the same number of every pose, so even unusual poses will appear three times. Here we find a staggering man with sword drawn leaning on a rock (?) and another, clearly away from the battle, calmly drinking from a cup. We are all in favour of the more out-of-the-ordinary poses as they can bring character and life into a useful but dull set, but while these two are OK they do not deserve three of each in the set. When you consider there are three mounted officers, three foot officers, three drummers and three flag-bearers, there is not a lot left for the vast bulk of the unit - the common soldier. While what poses there are are OK, the incorporation of both line infantry and militia in one set further reduces the range, which makes the advertised 16 poses much less impressive than it at first sounds.

Looking past the poor sculpting to what the sculptor was trying to achieve, the accuracy is fairly good. The men wear the uniform introduced in 1808, and they have the knapsack with two straps and chest piece, which dates them to 1810 and after. The Landwehr wear the Litewka coat and have a reasonable field cap, which like the line infantry is covered in a foul weather oilskin. As so often happens with figure sets, the men are about as well equipped as they could be, so the Landwehr have the luxury of knapsacks, sabres and bayonet scabbards as well as full gaiters, which was an ideal rarely achieved in reality. For some reason the line figures have French bayonet/sword holders, despite the fact that Prussian infantry never had bayonet scabbards at all. The flag has very deep relief depicting what is at best a rough approximation of the eagle holding a sword within a wreath with the crown on top. Strangely the back side of the flag is entirely blank. We suspect many purists will want to discard this poor attempt and substitute a printed flag of the correct design.

The mounted officer is one of the better efforts, though he too suffers from a ridiculously short sword (which is curved) and scabbard (which is straight), and his legs would better fit an elephant than a horse. His horse is very strange, with a pose the like of which we have never seen before. This poor animal also has some sort of bag by his right front leg which extends half way under his body, presumably forgotten when the mould was made.

We could go on, but you get the idea. Why are the marching men holding their muskets sideways? Why do they have a pathetic little backpack? Most importantly, why are they all giants? Every man is 26 mm tall, an average height of nearly 1.9 metres which towers above the average European male even today, never mind two centuries ago. The Landwehr tower over and look stupid next to the Airfix figures, and the line are no better, made worse by the thin Revell bases. There is some flash to remove, but these are really 1/65 scale figures that are poorly done and match nothing. This is at least as poor a set as Italeri have ever produced, so in this case hopes have definitely been dashed, and anyone looking for these historical figures should track down the appropriate Revell and Airfix efforts instead.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 7
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 4
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"German Napoleonic Armies Recreated in Colour Photographs" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Special Series No.9) - Torsten Verhülsdonk - 9781859150924
"Prussian Infantry 1808-1840 Vol.1" - Partizan - Stephen Summerfield - 9781858185835
"Prussian Line Infantry 1792-1815" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.152) - Peter Hofschrö&er - 9780850455434
"Prussian Regular Infantryman 1808-15" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.62) - Oliver Schmidt - 9781841760568
"The Prussian Army 1808-1815" - Almark - David Nash - 9780855240752
"The Waterloo Companion" - Aurum - Mark Adkin - 9781854107640

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